About the University

UAA History

The University of Alaska Anchorage traces its origins back to 1954, when Anchorage Community College (ACC) was founded. That year, ACC began offering evening classes to 414 students at Elmendorf Air Force Base—the first time that college-level courses were offered in the Anchorage area. In 1962, ACC, along with other community colleges around the state, was incorporated into the University of Alaska statewide system. Five years later, ACC began offering both day and evening classes at the current campus location. ACC provided academic study for associate degrees, the first two years of work toward baccalaureate degrees, and a wide variety of adult learning, career and continuing education programs.

In the late 1960s, strong interest in establishing a four-year university in Anchorage brought about the birth of the University of Alaska, Anchorage Senior College (ASC). While ACC administered the lower-division college, ASC administered upper-division and graduate programs leading to baccalaureate and master’s degrees, as well as continuing education for professional programs. In 1971, the first commencement was held at Anchorage’s West High School, where 265 master’s, baccalaureate and associate degrees were awarded. ASC moved to the Consortium Library Building in 1973. The following year, when the first classroom and office facility was completed, daytime courses were offered for the first time. In 1977, ASC became a four-year university and was renamed the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UA,A). Ten years later, ACC and UA,A merged to become what is now known as the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).

Today, some 20,000 students attend UAA, a growing and expanding university of first choice. More than 200 programs, ranging from certificate programs to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees, are offered at the campus in Anchorage, community campuses, and extension centers throughout Southcentral Alaska.

UAA Mission

The mission of the University of Alaska Anchorage is to discover and disseminate knowledge through teaching, research, engagement and creative expression. Located in Anchorage and on community campuses in Southcentral Alaska, UAA is committed to serving the higher education needs of the state, its communities and its diverse peoples. UAA is an open-access university with academic programs leading to occupational endorsements; undergraduate and graduate certificates; and associate, baccalaureate and graduate degrees in a rich, diverse and inclusive environment.

UAA Core Themes

The UAA mission recognizes the university’s commitment to instruction at a number of academic levels, success of all students regardless of their higher education goals, and service to the diverse peoples and communities of the state. It honors the community college and the baccalaureate, graduate and research roots of the institution.

Five core themes for UAA further define the mission. These core themes are:

  1. Teaching and Learning
  2. Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity
  3. Student Success
  4. UAA Community
  5. Public Square

This set of core themes has been approved by the Chancellor’s Cabinet and the Board of Regents.

International and Intercultural Values Statement

UAA is committed to international and intercultural education. As part of UAA’s participation in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Internationalization Laboratory, the following values were developed in consultation with faculty, students and staff. These values help guide the development of international and intercultural programs and services at UAA.  UAA and its students aim to:

  • Understand one’s own culture(s) within an Alaskan, national and global context.

  • Apply knowledge and critical thinking to global and cultural issues, trends and systems, and use diverse frames of reference to address problems.

  • Communicate and connect with people in other communities to extend one’s own access to information, experiences and understanding.

  • Foster additional languages, including Alaska Native languages, as a component of the UAA experience.

  • Develop an informed critical awareness and understanding of cultural differences, similarities and ambiguities.

  • Gain an Alaskan, national and international perspective on careers.

The above were approved by the International and Intercultural Task Force on March 9, 2012, and approved by the provost and executive vice chancellor and the vice chancellor for Student Affairs on May 2, 2012.

Diversity Statement

UAA recognizes and values the diversity of our unique location in Southcentral Alaska, the ancestral homelands of the Dena’ina Athabascan, Ahtna Athabascan, Alutiiq/Sugpiak and Eyak peoples.

We honor diverse experiences and perspectives—including differences in ideas, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, culture, nationality, age, disability, veteran and socioeconomic status—and strive to create welcoming and inclusive learning environments where all are treated with respect. 

At UAA, valuing diversity is integral to excellence. Diversity maximizes our potential for creativity, innovation, educational excellence and outstanding service to our communities.